Mumbai is the commercial centre of India, the hub of the Bollywood film industry and the country’s fashion capital. Towering skyscrapers and modern malls gleam in stark contrast to the endless slums but the scale of poverty does not damper the energy and dynamism of this pulsating city.
Mumbai is a heady mix of all of India’s extremes: Bollywood, cricket, gridlocked traffic, spicy street foods, bazaars, grand colonial relics, tranquil temples and glittering discos, all interspersed with tropical palm trees.
Historically, the city was an amalgamation of seven islands named after the goddess Mumbadevi. Under Portuguese occupation, religious and business pursuits drew people from all over India. Today, the city is the country’s largest port and its industrial powerhouse.
Shopping is a major drawcard with anything and everything available from traditional handicrafts and market knickknacks to designer labels and bespoke boutiques. Mumbai also has its share of tourist attractions. Sights include Elephanta Island in the middle of Mumbai Harbour with its labyrinth of ancient caves and temples cut into basalt rock; The Gateway to India, a breathtaking ceremonial arch; The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus; and a number of museums and art deco buildings.
Modern day Mumbai is still the city of dreams where people come to make their fortunes and pursue their destiny.
Dine at one of the finest restaurants in the country before dancing the night away in an exclusive nightclub | Take in a Bollywood film at one of 250 movie theatres | Visit the Dhobighats, called the world’s largest open air laundry
− In 1534, the Portuguese renamed the city Bom Bahia, which became Bombay before changing to it’s present day name in 1995
− Bollywood traces back to 1911 when the first silent Indian feature film was released